Monthly Archives: March 2012

Romans, resurrection, history, theodicy

Life and death are a big deal in Paul’s letter to the Romans, especially death and new life.

The most obvious interpretation of the data is that humanity deserves death for sin and is granted resurrection life through Jesus by faith alone.

But Paul not only speaks of death as what sinners deserves. He also speaks of death as a present state that manifests itself in ongoing sin. We sin because we are dead.

And then, there is another interpretation having to do with Jesus himself: death was embraced as the path to new life for himself and all who entrust themselves to him. Death becomes pathway to life and glory.

And there is also a historical scheme. All humanity was dead in sin and spiraling into judgment death, but now we have entered the age of life and glory. We are in a new and undeserved age.

But all this fits together in one more way. Not only was the death in history a problem that needed to be solved, but it, itself, was part of the path to the solution–a final death of sin in the body of Christ on the cross to bring about new life. God allowed death to abound in order that life might abound all the more.

A quickie note about the revolution in my intellectual life

Two words: iPod and Kindle.

This post will stick to the iPod.

A few months ago, I was given a used iPod. Suddenly I didn’t have to listen to the radio anymore. I can just download podcasts and listen with few or no commercials. And consider how much free stuff is available!

In both these cases, you don’t have to download individual files or zip files from your browser. You can actually get the feed for the podcast so that the whole series is available to you through iTunes. And this is beside what you can find through powersearching podcasts and the iTunesU via the iTunes app.

Note that there are also seminaries that have put out free audio material. Here is my alma mater:

There are also lots of news podcasts.

I consider Antiwar Radio my daily dose of sanity in an insane Death Star nation.

When I can stand it, I try to listen to the Friday Roundup with Diane Rhem, my weekly dose of Establishmentia. Ms Rhem is nice enough, and that is usually helpful (except when it is not).

A couple of weird, conspiracy view of history sources I sometimes find useful:

Sometimes over the top, but sometimes quite amazing. If you go to his website you will find another feed that includes all his audio offerings, but his podcast “reports” are much more valuable, in my opinion (at least, the ones I think are plausible are much more valuable).

And then there is this:

This was the radio show that started out UGA in Athens, Georgia. It is defunct now. Some episodes are poison and a few are just boring. But many are quite interesting and helpful (note: I’ve only listened to episodes created at the student radio station. I’m not sure where the show went when it moved into the “Disinformation Series.”


People who are on my mind a great deal lately

Sorry I haven’t had much time here, lately. Have some Bible stuff planned and want to report on how I’ve enjoyed a generous gift of a Kindle since Christmas.  But for now here is a quick list of people on my mind.

Brandy Britton

Danny Casolaro

Richard Lee Guthrie, Jr.

Deborah Jean Palfrey

Kenneth Trentadue

Garry Webb

Terrence Yeakey

For what it is worth.

And yet another review of my Tolkien book

In short, this small biography of J.R.R. Tolkien is an excellent introduction to the life of this man who had such an impact on Western—and Christian—imagination. I’d especially recommend it for anyone who has a child interested in Tolkien and his works. The text is not written for children, but as I said above: it’s a very readable text, and a child or teenager could probably read it with no problems whatsoever. If it’s a kid who’s managed to get through The Lord of the Rings, then there’s no doubt in my mind that they could handle this.

via The Book Brownie: Christian Encounters: J.R.R. Tolkien, by Mark Horne.

Another blogger reviews my book (a sequel)

J.R.R. Tolkien was an amazing writer, and one worthy of commemoration. He single handedly defined the rules that high fantasy novels today still draw on. It is only natural that such a noteworthy author receive such a well written, informative biography. Now everyone can learn about the man who created Middle Earth. I recommend picking this up!

via The Force of Fiction: Book Review #8: J.R.R. Tolkien, by Mark Horne.

Confused and contradictory laws are a strategy, not a mistake

“Did you really think we want those laws observed?” said Dr. Ferris. “We want them to be broken. You’d better get it straight that it’s not a bunch of boy scouts you’re up against… We’re after power and we mean it… There’s no way to rule innocent men. The only power any government has is the power to crack down on criminals. Well, when there aren’t enough criminals one makes them. One declares so many things to be a crime that it becomes impossible for men to live without breaking laws. Who wants a nation of law-abiding citizens? What’s there in that for anyone? But just pass the kind of laws that can neither be observed nor enforced or objectively interpreted – and you create a nation of law-breakers – and then you cash in on guilt. Now that’s the system, Mr. Reardon, that’s the game, and once you understand it, you’ll be much easier to deal with.” (Ayn Rand, Atlas Shrugged‘ 1957)

“Say what you will about the Ten Commandments, you must always come back to the pleasant fact that there are only ten of them.” — H. L. Mencken